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|— town —|
|Country||United Arab Emirates|
|• Emir||Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi|
|• Density||1,150/km2 (3,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UAE Standard Time (UTC+4)|
Khor Fakkan (or Khawr Fakkan) (Arabic: خورفكان) is a town located along the Gulf of Oman on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The town is set on the picturesque bay of Khor Fakkan, which means "Creek of Two Jaws". Khor Fakkan belongs to the emirate of Sharjah but is geographically surrounded by the emirate of Fujairah. It is a natural deep water port that is now a major container terminal.
In 1580 the Venetian jeweler Gasparo Balbi noted "Chorf" in a list of places on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates, which is considered by historians to indicate Khor Fakkan. The Portuguese built a fort at Khor Fakkan that was a ruin by 1666.
The log book of the Dutch vessel the Meerkat mentions this fort and another one, describing "Gorfacan" as place on a small bay, with about 200 small houses built from date branches, near the beach. It refers to a triangular Portuguese fortress on the northern side, in ruins, and a fortress on a hill on the southern side, also in ruins, without garrison or artillery. As well as date palms, the Meerkat's log also mentions fig trees, melons, watermelons and myrrh. It notes several wells with "good and fresh water" used for irrigation.
One reason suggested for the ruinous state of the forts is an invasion in 1623 of the Persian navy under the control of Omani Sheikh Muhammad Suhari. Suhari, facing a Portuguese counter-attack, withdrew to the Portuguese forts, including that of Khor Fakkan. When the Persians were expelled, the Portuguese commander Rui Freire urged the people of Khor Fakkan to remain loyal to the Portuguese crown and established a Portuguese customs office as well.
In 1737, long after the Portuguese had been expelled from Arabia, the Persians again invaded Khor Fakkan, with the help of the Dutch, during their intervention in the Omani civil war. In 1765 Khor Fakkan belonged to a sheikh of the Al Qasimi, Sharjah's ruling family, according to the German traveler Carsten Niebuhr.
There is a map by the French cartographer Rigobert Bonne dating to about 1770 that shows the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf and shows Khor Fakkan.
H.E. Sheikh Saeed bin Saqer bin Sultan Al-Qasimi, an Al-Qasimi royal, is Deputy Chairman of Amiri Court in Khor Fakkan. The Ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah is H.H Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi.
The climate of Khorfakkan is perfect, starting from November to April, where the day is sunny and warm and the evenings cool and humidity low. Daytime temperatures range from 18°C to 30°C. One may expect rain and tropical storms between January and March. The climate warms from May to September with the high temperature at noon in July and August reaching 55°C.
The nights too are warm, with the temperature reaching 42°C, with high humidity.
Khor Fakkan is a popular tourism spot, surrounded with huge mountains and attractive beaches. It also features coral outcrops suitable for diving and snorkeling. Khor Fakkan has one 4 star holiday beach resort, the Oceanic Hotel. The fish, fruit and vegetable souq is located at the southern end of the corniche and near the main highway. Al Wurrayah Falls is reachable by four-wheel-drive around 4.5 km north of the Oceanic hotel.
Khor Fakkan has a long history of human settlement. Excavations by a team from the Sharjah Archaeological Museum have identified 34 graves and a settlement belonging to the early-mid 2nd millennium BC. These are clustered on rock outcrops overlooking the harbour.
One site of interest is the Rifaisa Dam, in the mountains of Khor Fakkan. This is believed to have been built over a village, and when the water is very still, the tops of the old houses are still visible.
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